Ira Glass on Storytelling

Ira Glass is the host and creator of This American Life, one of my favorite radio shows (and available as a podcast). Each show has a theme and the staff pulls in people from around the world to tell their story. Ira and his staff do a great job of separating the wheat from the chaff.

A friend just pointed me to a series of videos by Ira about Storytelling. They are well worth watching. My favorite, “on Great Storytelling…” is embedded above (in short: spend the time looking for a story and never be afraid to edit). Also available are:

  • On the basics... – During a story keep asking and answering questions through the narrative
  • On good taste… – Don’t give up when you are just beginning a creative craft and your output does not meet your expectations
  • On two commons pitfalls… – 1) If you are doing video talk like a human being, not like you are ON TV. 2) In a story show your interest in the world and others through your own

The interviews were originally filmed by and can be found here as a single video.

We’ve talked before about the importance of storytelling. It’s what we try to do at O’Reilly with our blogs, books, and, particularly for me, at our conferences.